Israeli airstrikes continued into the early hours of Sunday, destroying a tower block that housed news media organizations, while Palestinian militants fired rocket salvos at Tel Aviv.
As the conflict entered its seventh day, Palestinians reported that at least 145 people had been killed since the conflict began on Monday, including 41 children. Ten people were killed in Israel, including two children.
The four-story block in Gaza City destroyed by Israeli airstrikes housed the Associated Press of the United States and the Qatar-based Al Jazeera media operations.
The Israeli military claimed it was a legitimate military target containing Hamas military offices, and that it had warned civilians to leave the building before the attack.
Al Jazeera and the Associated Press both condemned the strike and demanded evidence from Israel.
“AP’s bureau has been in this building for 15 years. We have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building,” the news organisation said. “We would never knowingly put our journalists at risk.”
According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, the US told Israel that “ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility.”
In an effort to restore calm, US President Joe Biden later spoke with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Despite a U.N. Security Council meeting scheduled for Sunday to discuss the worst outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence in years, both Israel and Hamas insisted on continuing their campaigns, with no end in sight.
“The party that bears the guilt for this confrontation is not us, it’s those attacking us,” Netanyahu said in a televised speech.
“We are still in the midst of this operation, it is still not over and this operation will continue as long as necessary.”
Netanyahu claimed that Israel’s air and artillery bombardment had killed dozens of Hamas militants and destroyed “hundreds” of the Islamist militant group’s facilities, including missile launchers and a vast tunnel network.
Original Story: Reuters